Tuesday, May 23, 2006
Hinojoza is one of about 4,000 teachers honored by Walmart. Last Friday morning, local Walmart representatives came to Logan to present Hinojoza with an honorary Wal-Mart "Teacher of the Year"polo shirt, a $100 Walmart gift certificate and a $1,000 check for Logan.
She was nominated by an unidentified student.
"The award has been a special surprise because I was nominated by students," Hinojoza said Tuesday, " The fact that students felt I was worthy of the award makes it much more meaningful to me than it would have been if I had been nominated by another teacher or a principal."
She said she will use the $1000 to buy equipment for the school's science classes. "I plan to purchase four stereo dissecting microscopes for the science department," she said, " We don't have any at all anywhere in the school, so this will be a start. We need these to examine larger things, such as flowers and fruit flies."
Balloting for 2006 local winners took place February 4 through 24.
Through the program, one of the largest teacher recognition programs in the country, Wal-Mart gave about $4.3 million this year to the schools of winning teachers, according to Betsy Reithemeyer, director of the Wal-Mart/SAM'S CLUB Foundation.
"Education is a cornerstone commitment for Wal-Mart and SAM'S CLUB associates nationwide," she said. "We are proud to help raise awareness for excellence in education and to salute teachers, who play such an important role in growing and shaping young people. We encourage parents to help students nominate a teacher who's made a difference in their lives."
Winning teachers receive $1,000 educational grants from the Wal-Mart/SAM'S CLUB Foundation to benefit their local school can apply for state and national Teacher of the Year honors. State winners will receive an additional $10,000 educational grant and will automatically be entered in the national competition for an additional $25,000 educational grant for a total of $36,000 to his or her school.
Hinojoza said she isn't sure yet whether or not she'll enter the state competition due to time contstraints.
Since the Teacher of the Year program began in 1995, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., has honored more than 22,000 teachers nationwide and donated more than $15 million to local schools. This year alone, $4.3 million will be awarded to schools nationwide and in Puerto Rico. In total, last year the company contributed more than $45 million in support of educational initiatives.
Wal-Mart works with Phi Delta Kappa International, the world's leading education association, to implement their annual teacher recognition program.